Sprint Cup - Indiana Natives Ride Momentum Into Home Track
Indianapolis, July 28, 2011: Assuredly, Stewart-Haas Racing enjoyed the off week more than most teams. Its two Indiana natives – Ryan Newman, from South Bend and Tony Stewart from Columbus – started and finished 1-2 in the last NASCAR Sprint Cup race, at New Hampshire. The last time two Indiana drivers finished 1-2 was in 2005, in the Chase race at New Hampshire – that time it was also Newman first, Stewart second.
Currently, Newman is eighth in the standings, 16 points ahead of Denny Hamlin in 10th-place. Though in a points-tie with Hamlin for 10th, Stewart officially sits 11th. Hamlin owns the tie-breaker (best finish), thanks to his victory at Michigan.
As the Race for the Chase hits its stride, Indianapolis Motor Speedway could be the golden ticket Stewart needs to lock himself into the Chase. In 12 starts at Indianapolis, Stewart has posted two wins (2005, 2007), six top fives, eight top 10s and a pole. He leads the series in pre-race Driver Rating with a 109.3 and is one of only three active drivers (Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick) with an average finish in the top 10 (8.2).
Newman has made 10 starts at IMS posting one top-five finish. His average finish is 21.0. Newman finished 17th last season at Indianapolis.
But one rare statistical quirk that plays in SHR’s favor: Manufacturer dominance. Chevrolet has won the last eight races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The last time a non-Chevy won at the Brickyard was Bill Elliott’s Dodge in 2002.
Another Indiana native that will be competing this weekend is South Bend’s David Stremme. Stremme has made three starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway posting his best finish (16th) in 2009.